World Cup blow for Jamie Maclaren as Hibs striker axed from Australia squad

Jamie Maclaren (left) celebrates his goal against Hearts. Picture: SNS Group
Jamie Maclaren (left) celebrates his goal against Hearts. Picture: SNS Group
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Jamie Maclaren’s hopes of playing in this summer’s World Cup finals in Russia have suffered a blow after the Hibs striker was axed from the Australian squad for two warm-up matches at the end of this month.

The 24-year-old had been named in new coach Bert van Marwijk’s original 29-man squad for the games against Norway and Colombia, but even his goal which clinched a derby win over Hearts wasn’t enough for him to retain his place as the pool was trimmed to 26 players.

Instead of Maclaren, capped five times for the Socceroos, van Marwijk has gone for veteran hitman Tim Cahill, despite the former Everton man’s limited minutes of action since joining Millwall, and the uncapped Andrew Nabbout who moved to Japanese side Urawa Red Diamonds only nine days ago.

Maclaren was one of three players who didn’t make van Marwijk’s final squad, with goalkeeper Mitch Langerak and young left back Alex Gersbach also missing out.